Angouleme to Bordeaux

 

Alcohol

Block 2 of five is now complete. I have made it to Bordeaux, 852km (or 529 miles for those who don’t do kilometres), 36 hours of cycling over nine days with an additional day off along the way. As a bit of context for those of you who might think I do a lot cycling before I set off last week I had done 3100km this year – between 29 June and 26 July I will do roughly 2500km.

 Today’s 129km ride included 1200m of height gain – which on a loaded up bike is not fun. Thankfully I dumped the kit in the car half way through when I was joined by Dad – unfortunately I had already done most of the climbing by then!

The next bit of the ride will take me from the Atlantic, to the Mediterranean along the sides of the Canal du Garonne and the Canal du Midi, collectively known as the Canal des deux Mers (a Great Canal Journey on a bike). But before that I rest!

Yesterday’s blog talked about the relationship between Autism and food. This time I am going to focus on alcohol. It is quite common for people to have gone through life without receiving a diagnosis, but feeling like they don’t quite fit in. Many people adapt to cope in their own way. This might be through creating routines for example. However, others may use alcohol.

On the NAS website there is an article where a person with autism talks about using alcohol to cope. Matt says that he used alcohol to address the primary symptom of anxiety. He also says that he was socially awkward and that social interactions were easier if he had had a drink. For Matt alcohol lessened the impact of autism. It diluted the sensory symptoms associated with autism.

The negative impacts of alcohol however, such as liver disease, in Matt’s case mean that it is not a sustainable solution. However, many substance abuse facilities will not accept someone for treatment until they are ‘dry’. For a person with autism, and particularly a non-diagnosed person this might be a challenge. The alcohol is a crutch they are using to cope in a non-autistic world. It may be the case that to help people with autism who also require support for alcoholism changes need to be made to the way treatment is provided.

Thanks for reading,

Neil